Mulmaster

Говорят, что наш девиз это: «БЕРИ ВСЁ И СРАЗУ!КТО ЗНАЕТ, ЧТО ЖДЕТ ТЕБЯ ЗАВТРА?» Пожалуй, я предпочел бы что-то менее мрачное, но нет времени придумать новый: ведь нужно успеть взять всё и сразу.
— Зор Андрик Гос
    Mulmaster 1489  - 1489 DR   Mulmaster 1491  - 1491 DR   Current year: 1492 DR   Weather Conditions: Winters -15°C to 5°C, Summers 10°C to 15°C, strong northern winds, high humidity 60% to 75%, high chance of rain all-year.   Alignment: Lawful Evil (government Neutral Evil (society)   Government: Aristocratic Oligarchy; Absolute Bureaucracy   Society: Meritocracy; Contractual Serfdom   City Assets: 44,600,000gp. (~10% treasury, 4,150,000gp).   Personal Assets: High Blade 2,100,000gp; Blades (100,000 to 650,000gp), Zor/a Nobility (10,000gp to 70,000gp), Craftsmen (200gp to 2,000gp) Others (0 to 150gp). Convertible portion of assets 10-35% for Zor; 5-10% for everyone else.   Imports: Foodstuffs, cloth, leather, luxury items, slaves   Exports: Arms, armor, ships, liquor, people, services   Currency: Zenthil Keep issued. 1 "platinum glory" ("flat metal gem") = 10 gold "glories" ("weeping wolves") = 20 electrum "tarenth" ("hardhammers") = 100 silver "talons/naal" ("flea-bits") = 1000 copper "fangs" ("dung-pieces")  
Mulmaster Map 1.png
 

Geographical Overview

  From the sea, Mulmaster looks captivating enough. A pirate once likened it to a gleaming pearl washed up on shore. Gabled rooftops, slender alabaster towers, and a thicket of wooden masts rise up behind the pale gray walls that neatly enclose the harbor and shoreline districts. The city crawls up the slopes of mountains that peak to its south, and set upon these peaks are some of the most majestic spires overlooking the entire Moonsea.   Mulmaster’s charm fades quickly as one navigates the overcrowded harbor or passes through the city’s fortified gates. Never mind the occasional body floating in the harbor, the dour guards at the gates, or the rotten stench! The buildings nearest the docks are dilapidated and weatherworn, the people here live in squalor, and criminals strike with impunity. Farther up the mountainside, where the air is fresher, hateful fences and intimidating walls separate the homes of the wealthy elite from the ghettos, and desperate beggars are openly berated and beaten in the streets.   The highest spur of land in mountainous Mulmaster is the site of the Towers of the Blade, a sprawling cluster of residential spires where the ruling families of the city abide in luxury. Here the guards are well paid and jovial, the cries of the poor are stifled by the chill north wind, and local law is written with bribes. Cloaked figures skulk about, but their business remains their own. One can easily fall in love with the world from up here, where the air is thinner and the people are fatter.   Mulmaster sits on the edge of a cruel, cold, rugged tract of land dominated by the western Earthspur and Galena Mountains. Although the mountains offer some protection against bitter winds and heavy snow from the north and east, they are treacherous to cross and don’t grant Mulmasterites safe and easy passage to the Unapproachable East. Most land traffic from Mulmaster heads south, along a well-traveled trade road that skirts the eastern edge of Cormanthor and plunges headlong into The Vast, east of the Dragon Reach.   Scores of despondent refugees from Zhentil Keep camp in shacks and shanties outside the city walls, relying on the uncharacteristic charity of the city’s corrupt nobility. Mulmasterites generally resent and distrust the newcomers, who take food from the mouths of poor city folk and offer precious little in return. Beyond Mulmaster, the eastern Moonsea region boasts little else in the way of settlements apart from a smattering of fishing villages, monasteries, and citadels.   The White River slips between the jagged Galena and Earthspur Mountains, heading east toward Narfell, Damara, and Impiltur. The black basalt fortress known as Ironfang Keep looms over the river’s mouth and remains a constant source of worry and consternation among Mulmaster’s nobility, although the dark wizards who dwell there have yet to raise a finger toward their corrupt neighbor to the west.    

People of Mulmaster

  The people of Mulmaster are pessimistic about their lot and attempt to overcome their trials with fierce determination. They work hard, always looking for any edge to advance themselves in the corrupt city. When the time comes to break from their hard work, they take pride in their family and enjoy celebrations with wild revels that include sumptuous banquets, strong tavern drinks, hot-blooded duels, flirting or gossiping in dance-houses, gambling at the Gate of Good Fortune and even darker entertainments found in shadowy corners of the City. The strength of Mulmaster is in its control of trade. It sits at the end of the major land and sea routes north to the Moonsea. It controls no farms and very little land beyond its valuable sea frontage. Recently, the High Blade has expanded her influence and reclaimed the iron mines at Point Iron by constructing of a fort there. However, this city of 50,000 rests in is careful balance of the different power groups, a balance the refugees of Phlan and the Factions seek to tip in their favor.   Races. Nearly all the people living in Mulmaster are human. Nonhumans include some halflings and dwarves, but elves, half-elves, half-orcs, gnomes, and others are remarkable sites in the city. Human ethnicity (be it Nar, Turmish, Chondatan, or something else) has less impact on folk's opinion of you than whether you are a native or a foreigner. Foreigners are typically viewed as easy marks or with suspicion.   Culture. The people of Mulmaster are pessimistic dynamos. “Take what you can, when you can, because who knows if you'll see tomorrow,” would be their motto. The harsh landscape and living conditions as well as the history of the city have made Mulmasterites hardnosed, stubborn folk. They are constantly alert for any weaknesses in others, and their minds are always scheming to further their own positions. Mulmasterites are not foolish or reckless, mind you; they are (as a rule) single¬minded, driven, ambitious, and amoral folk.   Mulmasterites set about life with a fierce determination. They push and push to achieve their ends, and die in the trying if need be. Neither zealots nor reckless idiots, they are inexorable, patient, relentless opponents, who wait for and exploit every weakness. It is this spirit that makes Mulmaster such a busy center for commerce, a hotbed of constant industry and intrigue. Mulmasterites love to live well when they can, going to taverns to drink, dance¬houses to flirt and dance, and frequenting many other venues of entertainment such as fighting rings (bears vs. dogs, cocks, or people fighting one another), street theater, and gambling at the Gate of Good Fortune. Crime is rampant within the city and corruption is everywhere. Life is extremely cheap in Mulmaster. The average Mulmasterite is always looking to gain advantage on his or her neighbor, coworker, superior, or shopkeeper.   Despite this cultural climate, Mulmaster is still a prosperous city, and the underclass is generally kept to one side as the wealthy and middle-class citizens delight in the epicurean products of the other cities of the Moonsea as well as far-off lands, and the city enjoys a raucous nightlife, if one knows where to look.   Mulmasterites frequently wear furs to defend against the city's fierce winds, including leggings and “maliskers” (chest aprons) against the cold, with leather gauntlets and boots. Colors of orange, red, green, or gold are common in their clothes.   The noble Lords and the Blades have control of the law and by extension are immune to most of it. Their word is iron and no one, not even the clergy of Bane, can cross them. Bribery, intimidation, tyranny, and outright murder are the tools of their trade and they wield them without pause. Given that position among the nobility is fluid, many of the wealthiest middle class families are constantly on the lookout to supplant a noble family past its prime. Otherwise, the Blades maintain their control of the populace through the threat of the Cloaks, Hawks and Soldiery.   From the Tower of Arcane Might, the Brotherhood of the Cloak watches for arcane threats to the rule of the High Blade. Formed as part of the Edict of Arcane Banishment, all practitioners of magic in the City who are not emissaries of a foreign power (such as those in the embassy of Thay) are watched closely, and those that use their magic are punished severely, unless they have joined the Cloaks and sworn to protect the rule of the High Blade from all threats. Cloaks are frequently detailed to lend magical assistance to the Watch and the Soldiery. The Harpers have been seeding their operatives into the Cloaks, but how they have avoided the magical tests of loyalty remains unknown.   The Soldiery is Mulmaster’s army and navy, a proud force that is richly rewarded. Military service is highly valued among the middle and upper classes and seen as a way out of poverty for the lower classes. Members of the Soldiery take an oath of loyalty and service that is the foundation of their honorable brotherhood, and this group may be the only one where corruption is extremely rare. The fairness of the Soldiery is why its members are frequently called on to judge duels between those of noble birth. The Order of the Gauntlet seeks to work closely with the Soldiery.   The City Watch is made-up of those who were unsuited for a career in the Soldiery due to their stupidity, laziness, or a volatile nature. Members of the Watch are corrupt bullies who prefer brutal beatings and bribes to seeing any justice done. They are more dangerous to the average citizen than most criminals, and they are often overlooked as unimportant when considering city politics.   The masses living in the Zhent Ghettos are natural allies of the Zhentarim. Heavily taxed by the nobility and abused by the Watch, they have nowhere else to turn but the Zhentarim, who control much of the crime in the area. The Zhents have started organizing the workers and rhetoric favoring the Zhentarim over the Blades is becoming more commonplace. While not individually powerful or wealthy, there is a significant strength in the poor’s numbers that could threaten the power of the Blades if the Zhentarim decide to turn their wrath against the rest of the City.  

GENERAL FEATURES

  Where once Mulmaster sported a bustling harbor and fast-paced shipping businesses, and contained a hint of the sea in the air, the city now smolders and smoke taints the breeze.   Many of the low, squat red brick buildings of Mulmaster were able to weather the onslaught, though most of the wooden structures and towers took significant damage. In some areas open portals to the elemental planes rage and twist, unpredictable in their nature but dangerous all the same. Elemental fire blazes bright with no sign of sputtering out, and sinkholes - portals filled with raw elemental earth - litter the northern and western sections of the city. Zhentarim spies skulk amidst the ruined warehouses while overworked laborers strain to shore up the levies around the shattered remains of the harbor; the watchful eyes of the Cloaks gaze over the entire city, but their attentions have been more focused on the rebuilding efforts rather than the enforcement of magical law as they were in the past.   The City of Danger is as it ever was: rife with opportunity, hand-in-hand with the culture that made it famous. The damage caused by the assault of the Elemental Cults has re-opened old wounds and disrupted new alliances, and the days ahead promise that the troubles the people of Mulmaster thought they knew were only just beginning. Through and through, this is indeed an evil city populated by evil people; heroes are in short supply and high demand, and the stakes are higher now than ever before.   Where once the city boasted a population of nearly 50,000 residents, this number has tumbled significantly. The devastation claimed nearly 8,000 lives, and over the intervening months another 13,000 left, starved, or went missing. With nearly half of the city now vacant and smashed, there is a lot of work to be done.

Demographics

93% human, 7% zhent half-orcs  

Humans

  72% Vaasan 16% Damaran 8% Chondatan 4% others.

Government

The Blades   The Blades are a council of sixteen nobles. The positions were originally established to provide representation for the nobles, and to temper the amount of control the High Blade possesses over the city. The Blades debate and vote on new laws which are, in turn, passed on to the High Blade, who either gives final approval and signs it into law, or vetoes it. While this system works in theory, many of the High Blades use bribery or intimidation to swing the votes of the Blades in their favor. The fact that the Blades are required by law to reside within the Tower of Blades is both a privilege and a means of control. While their families reside there, they remain under the implicit threat of soldiers who might be more loyal to the High Blade or other Blade members.

Infrastructure

Mulmaster Map 2.jpg
   

1 - Tower of the Blades

This opulent and expansive castle is home to the sixteen Blades who govern the city, with their families, servants, and bodyguards. A contingent of 300 soldiers and 30 cloaks also guard and staff the castle. The complex's entrances are always guarded with a six-man force, and each noble's wing of the complex is protected by various warding spells cast by Cloaks.   This structure is also riddled with secret passageways and places to spy. There are several secret underground passages, some of which connect to one another, while other dungeon areas are isolated and can only be reached by passing through the rooms above.   The Tower of the Blades serves as base of operations for the Blades of Mulmaster, the ruling council that answers directly to the High Blade. Additionally, several hundred guards, both private and conscripted from the city’s armed forces, live and work here. It is said that secret dungeons exist below the Tower, and that dozens of hidden passages honeycomb the ground below and even lie within the walls themselves.   The Tower of the Blades, also called Mulcastle, is an opulent, expansive castle and the official residence to the fifteen Blades who govern the city, along with their families, servants, and bodyguards. Since Blades no longer share the same interest as High Blade Selfaril, they only show up for official duties and spend most days at one of their multiple estates across the city. A contingent of 300 soldiers and 30 Cloaks also guard the castle. Each entrance is always guarded with a six-man force, and each noble's wing is protected by various warding spells cast by Cloaks. Despite (or because of) the high security, Mulcastle is riddled with secret passageways and rooms for spying and clandestine meetings. There are also several underground passages; some of which connect to one another, while other areas are isolated and can only be reached from specific rooms above.

2 - Tower of the Wyvern

  Although smaller than the Tower of the Blades, this castle is wholly the residence High Blade. The fine marble structure is decorated with ornate stained glass windows, the largest of which is found set into the tallest tower and features a wyvern. Nearly four hundred guards and soldiers and forty Cloaks serve here at the High Blade's pleasure, along with a couple hundred servants.   For over a century the castle also hosted a subterranean complex of luxurious baths, exhibition stages, and leisure chambers known as the Palace of Revels. All manner of debauchery and depravity were rumored to occur in its candlelit halls, but since the assumption to the position of High Blade by a priest of Bane two decades ago, entrances to the Palace of Revels are said to have been bricked up.   This ornate structure serves as the home and offices of the High Blade of Mulmaster, Selfaril Uoumdolphin. In addition, a dozen Cloaks reside here as part of his personal retinue, along with about a hundred guards and soldiers. The building also provides employment for dozens of servants that have been tasked with the care and maintenance of the facility. The facility is actually a full-fledged castle, with multiple towers and thick walls built of imported marble from the Dragonspine Mountains and stained glass windows from all over the world.   Rumors persist that the dungeons below the Tower actually lead to a diabolical pleasure pit, full of hedonists and succubi. However, the doors are sealed with solid masonry and potent spells, and the Cloaks often remove careless explorers from Mulmaster in short order.   The Tower of the Wyvem is smaller than the Tower of the Blades, but is the exclusive residence of the High Blade. The fine marble structure is decorated with ornate stained glass windows, the largest of which is set into the tallest tower and features a wyvern. Nearly four hundred soldiers and forty Cloaks serve here at the High Blade's pleasure, along with a couple hundred servants. For over a century the castle hid a subterranean complex of luxurious baths, exhibition stages, and leisure chambers known as the Palace of Revels. All manner of debauchery and depravity were rumored to occur in its candlelit halls, until High Bladejaseen Drakehorn, a priest of Bane, bricked up the entrances to the Palace of Revels two decades ago. There are however multiple secret passageways rumored to lead there. Some are rumored to connect to both the Tower of Blades and Tower of Arcane Might.

3 - Southroad Keep

Southroad Keep, Mulmaster’s oldest building, is the heart of its absolute bureaucracy. The enormous, squat, circular brick building serves as the constabulary headquarters, the Archive of the Census, tax-collection center, courthouse, and a massive underground prison. The building is nearly always crowded, and lines are long and slow. The inner chambers are constantly choked with throngs of people waiting to conduct business with the city, and the overworked officials are never in a great hurry to keep the lines moving.   The barracks lie underground and has approximately the same area as the aboveground portion. The gatehouse can seal off the city's south gate in the event of a siege. One hundred soldiers are posted here at all times, though the keep can house as many as six hundred when necessary. Adjacent is the prison. It is rumored that all prison guards eventually convert into followers of Loviatar, and a small shrine is near entrance to the vast underground cell block for anyone to see: Southroad Keep, Mulmaster's oldest building, is the heart of its bureaucracy, serving as the headquarters for the City Watch and tax collectors, as well as the site for Mulmaster's courts and prison. The squat, circular brick building serves as the constabulary headquarters, information center, tax-collection center, visitor's registration, courthouse, and prison. The building is nearly always crowded, and lines are long and slow. The inner chambers are constantly choked with throngs of people waiting to conduct business with the city, and the overworked officials are never in a great hurry to keep the lines moving. The prison lies underground and has approximately the same area as the aboveground portion. The gatehouse can seal off the city's south gate in the event of a siege. One hundred soldiers are posted here at all times, though the keep can house as many as six hundred when necessary.

4 - The Black Lord's Altar

  With the return of Bane, The Black Lord’s Altar has been rededicated and Bane has been made the official religion of the City. The High Blade herself is a paladin of Bane and was raised from a young age by the High Imperceptor, Jorrul Missen. There is no clergy more powerful in the City, and those seeking to get ahead in the complicated social circles of Mulmaster frequently worship here.   With the return of Bane just prior to the Spellplague, the seat of Banite worship has returned to Mulmaster, and the orthodox worshipers of Bane rededicated the Black Lord's Altar to Bane. This foreboding building is tall, with spines jutting out from the numerous locations on the exterior of the structure. Windows filled with red and violet glass reinforce its ominous appearance. Inside a statue of the Black Hand of Bane hangs down from the center ceiling, the arm reaching 50 feet down from the ceiling to have the gigantic hand hovering a mere eight feet above the floor. Melded with the structure of the temple, is seems to those who view it for the first time like Bane reaching down from the heavens.   Jorrul Missen   

5 - High House of Swords

The High Hall of Swords serves those who pray in Tempus’ name. It is popular with the Watch and those members of the army in the Soldiery. Those guilty of cowardice while fighting in the City’s name will find their rotting heads impaled on the spikes that decorate the battlements of the temple.   Built in the fashion of a castle, this granite building is the house of worship for those who pray to the god of battle. The exterior is decorated with broken shields, armor, and weapons that have been used in Tempus's name, while the battlements bear spikes decorated with the rotting heads of cowards. The clergy of the temple all also serve in Mulmaster's army or city watch. The temple is frequently the site of mock battles that allow soldiers and city watch members to train for siege and battle in buildings.

6 - High House of Hurting

The world is filled with pain and torment, and the best that one can do is to suffer those blows that cannot be avoided and deal as much pain back to those who offend
— The Loviatar Dogma
  The High House of Hurting and the faith of Loviatar are extremely popular among the decadent nobility and the youth. Two decades ago, the High Blade ordered the debauched and depraved Palace of Revels to be bricked up beneath the Tower of the Wyrm. The priests of the Maiden of Pain have been only too happy to take the Palace’s place by offering some of its more morally questionable services.   This is the temple of the Maiden of Pain, from which the wails of the faithful can be heard at all hours of the day and night. The structure is black, constructed from basalt blocks, and the rooms within closely resemble torture chambers. There is nothing here to provide comfort. One common feature of all the furniture in this structure is that causing pain is part of their design. The main sanctuary hall has no seating and nothing at all of comfort. The cult of Loviatar has always enjoyed a surprisingly strong cult in Mulmaster but since the closure of the Palace of Revels, it has increased in size.

7 - Tower of Mysteries

As a temple devoted to the gods of magic, it is no surprise that the Tower of Mysteries forms a sprawling complex with the Tower of Arcane Might. The Tower of Mysteries includes small temples to Leira, Velsharoon, and Savras, as well as a shrine to Mystra (whose worship is illegal within the City). Since only Cloaks and visiting dignitaries are allowed to practice magic in the City, anyone entering the Tower of Mysteries can expect to be confronted by one or more Cloaks demanding to see the worshipper’s papers. Only those who have officially sworn to not cast arcane magic in the City, are acknowledged dignitaries, or are members of the Cloaks may pass. Everyone else will suffer further, intense scrutiny.   Magic radiates powerfully from this sky-blue building. This temple is a massive, sprawling structure with immense, airy rooms. In addition to the main worship and meditation chambers are numerous libraries and laboratories, as well as small shrines to other deities associated with the practice of magic such as Leria, Velsharoon, and Savras. Even a shrine to Mystra (to whom it is illegal to worship within the city) is tucked away in an alcove in this temple dedicated to wizardry. Since only Cloaks and visiting dignitaries are allowed to practice magic in the city, anyone entering the temple can expect to be confronted by one or more Cloaks who happen to be there at the time. Visitors must present papers that prove they're acknowledged mages that have sworn not to cast magic in the city or find themselves violently ejected.  

8 - Gate of Good Fortune

    The Gate of Good Fortune is both a temple and a casino. Lord Priest Wylan Burral (the jovial brother of taciturn Aleyd Burral, a Knight of the Black Fist from Phlan) maintains a small congregation. However, the casino is one of the most popular destinations for the wealthy and the desperate. Risk taking appeals to Mulman sensibilities, and thus Tymora is the only Good-aligned deity with a temple in the City.

9 - Traveler's Cloak Inn

  A favorite inn of wealthy travelers, the Traveler's Cloak offers a welcome retreat from the cold and damp. Each room has its own fireplace, and dinner and drink are included in the rather steep nightly price of 12 gp (15 gp if a mount needs to be stabled).  

10 - Oxpit Tavern

 

11 - Wave & Wink Dance Hall

 

12 - Harbor

Although a permanent gate to the elemental plane of water did not open in the Moonsea, a large number of devastation orbs from the Cult of the Howling Hatred and the Cult of the Eternal Flame detonated in the harbor by adventurers seeking the fastest resolution to a problem that was outside of their ability to resolve. While these decisions mitigated much of the damage that might have been incurred, the harbor as it was ceased to exist on that day. Littered with the ruins of destroyed buildings, smashed ships, and the churned-up debris from the bottom of the Moonsea, its water is now only a few feet deep and the loose silt obscures ship-destroying treacherous detritus.   With ships no longer able to enter the area and no serviceable docks along the nearby shores of the Moonsea proper, trade is largely restricted to the roads to the south and east. The larger problem, though, is that the harbor represents the primary food source for many of Mulmaster’s residents, and the wave of devastation has almost entirely eliminated this option. The people are now entirely reliant upon the Zhentarim Market or the Thayan caravans, neither of which offer desirable prices or goods.   There has been some work performed towards making the harbor navigable again, but it will likely be many years before all of the debris is cleared out. Perhaps the aquatic elves of the Moonsea could be convinced to help, but they are reportedly upset about a number of cultists exploiting undersea resources and searching for artifacts from their ancient kingdom.

13 - Lighthouse

 

14 - Thayvian Embassy

Thayan ambassador: Zulkir Dar'lon Ma   The Red Wizards of Thay have maintained a presence in Mulmaster for over a century with a sizable embassy. One of the previous High Blades was even married to a Tharchioness of Thay, Dmitra Flass of Eltabbar, a Red Wizard. After Szass Tam assumed control of Thay, relations cooled somewhat, but Tha/s interest in the Moonsea diminished and shifted as the power of the Zhentarim waned and the returned Netherese made gains in Sembia. The Embassy had been staffed by necromancers until very recently. During that time the Cloaks kept a close eye on the Embassy, but over time it became apparent that the Thayans had no significant interest in the city except for purchasing magical reagents and ingredients that passed through and occasionally buying slaves to serve in their Embassy. Now that living Zulkirs and Tharchions again control much of Thay and most of the necromancers have been replaced by other wizards, Thay's interests in Mulmaster are once again unclear. They have been investing in the city and supplying diplomatic missions to journey to others. It seems they hope to use Mulmaster has a foothold for reintroducing their nation to other powers in the Moonsea and beyond. In the short term the reinvestment in the city is good, but the Blades fear that success in making connections with other states will make their own alliance with Thay less of a deterrent.   The term "Thayvian" is a more elegant phrasing of "Thayan", though the Red Wizards will not tell their visitors this outright. They find that their subtle games are best played over long timelines, so as to keep scrutiny of their motivations and goals to a minimum. Although the crumbling of the city exacted a heavy toll upon the arcanists, they did not delay before beginning their repairs. Through the use of their necromancers and abjurers, they quickly rebuilt the walls around their embassy, higher and thicker than before; in mere days, their home and support buildings were complete, and all of their labor had been supplied by the unfortunate citizens that perished during the assault. In order to build goodwill in the city, they began to slowly mete out rebuilding efforts to spaces near their own holdings. They did not ask for compensation from the city, and they did not seek out approval for their work. They worked overnight, but not in secret; they asked for survivors to move along so they would be able to avoid witnessing their deceased loved ones working to restore the city. The Thayans may have referred to Mulmaster as a conquered territory in the past, but now they openly refer to it as The Gem of the North. Some of the more observant Mulmasterites have reported archaeological goods and wagons flying Thayan colors coming in and out of the city under the cover of night.   Curiously, one of the Zulkir—essentially the Thayan ruling council—took up residence in the City of Danger. Dar’lon Ma, Zulkir of Enchantment, has taken a firm interest in the daily activities of the city. He has been seen many times in the public company of Rastol Shan, master of the Cloaks, and the two seem to have developed a close bond.     The Red Wizards of Thay have maintained a presence in Mulmaster for over a century with a sizable embassy. One of the previous High Blades was even married to a Tharchioness of Thay, Dmitra Flass of Eltabbar, a Red Wizard. After Szass Tam assumed control of Thay, relations cooled somewhat, but Thay's interest in the Moonsea diminished and shifted as the power of the Zhentarim waned and the returned Netherese made gains in Sembia. The Embassy had been staffed by necromancers until very recently. During that time the Cloaks kept a close eye on the Embassy, but over time it became apparent that the Thayans had no significant interest in the city except for purchasing magical reagents and ingredients that passed through and occasionally buying slaves to serve in their Embassy. Now that living Zulkirs and   Tharchions again control much of Thay and most of the necromancers have been replaced by other wizards, Thay's interests in Mulmaster are once again unclear. They have been investing in the city and supplying diplomatic missions to journey to others. It seems they hope to use Mulmaster has a foothold for reintroducing their nation to other powers in the Moonsea and beyond. In the short term the reinvestment in the city is good, but the Blades fear that success in making connections with other states will make their own alliance with Thay less of a deterrent.

15 - House Built on Gold

  The House Built on Gold has only recently been rebuilt and rededicated at the direction to the iron merchants of Mulmaster, chief among them Lord Ninyon Gos. The work to fully restore this temple of Waukeen is ongoing. Backed by the rich nobility and the craftsmen’s guilds, it is likely to see completion within the year. In addition to religious services, the temple has also opened a bank that offers less usurious loans than the nobility, and with less likelihood of bodily harm than those available in the Ghettos.   This temple of dedicated to Waukeen was abandoned for many years and robbed of much of its fittings and some of its stone. However, in the past year an effort has been made by a cadre of iron merchants and mine owners to refurbish the temple and rededicate it to Waukeen. The work is not complete. Masons, gilders, painters, sculptors, and others tramp in and out constantly, but already the temple has opened its services as a bank and lender, backing the money with the fortunes of its wealthy and hard-minded sponsors.  

16 - Tower of Arcane Might

  The Tower of Arcane Might is a massive stone tower complex housing the group of mages once known as the Brotherhood of the Cloaks. That name has fallen out of favor for their current moniker, “The Cloaks.” The Cloaks serve the Blades of Mulmaster and are the only sanctioned spellcasters in the city where magic is otherwise outlawed It has libraries, dormitories, laboratories, and vast storehouses of gold and magical items. The Tower is protected by iron golems, numerous defensive spells, and of course the magic of the Cloaks themselves.   This massive stone tower complex houses the group of mages once known as the Brotherhood of the Cloaks. That archaic usage has fallen out of favor for their moniker, “The Cloaks.” The Cloaks serve the Blades of Mulmaster and are the only sanctioned spellcasters in the city where magic is otherwise outlawed.   It has libraries, dormitories, laboratories, and vast storehouses of gold and magical items. The Tower is protected by golems, numerous defensive spells, and of course the magic and defenders of the Cloaks themselves.   The Cloaks of Mulmaster are an arcane brotherhood that seeks to protect the city from mystical threats both internal and external. In the old days, casting arcane spells was expressly forbidden save for members of this group, but ever since the assault they have had a more tolerant view—to a limited extent. While they are allowing more people to join, they are by no means a forgiving organization.   Their stone tower took a fair beating but still stands. Perhaps out of a sense of pride, or a desire to connect with the citizens, the Cloaks have so far refused to undertake full repairs upon their home; they seem to be wearing the damage like a badge of honor. Rumor has it that many of the original protective enchantments crumbled during the attack, but without those spells the tower would likely have collapsed in upon itself, trapping or killing that remained those within.   Rastol Shan has been active in his efforts to recruit and train new Cloaks, including posting ads and broadsheets around the city indicating this need. The pay may not be much, but the Tower includes living quarters, laboratories, and research spaces for the group.

17 - Shrine to Lathander

  A shrine to Lathander rests atop a hill near the south side of Southroad Keep where the rays of the sun first rise over the shadowed walls of the City. This untended shrine is frequented by the poor asking for the blessings of Lathander to shine upon them, as well as those leaving the City and traveling south.   This shrine stands near Southroad Keep on the hill to its south where the rising sun over the mountains can strike the shrine without it being shadowed by the walls. The shrine consists of a bronze symbol of Lathander on a bronze post, made so that light can shine through the body of the rising sun and the road. Folk setting out for points south or making a business deal frequently come to the shrine in daylight hours to take Lathander's blessing upon their enterprises. The path to and from the shrine is thus well worn.

18 - Shrine to Malar

Opposite Lathander’s shrine, on the northern side of Southroad Keep, is a dismal fly-ridden shack with the claws of predators and the wings of birds of prey nailed to its walls. Those who hunt in the mountains stop here to honor Malar, the Beastlord. Other than the occasional hunter, this shrine is often empty.   A dim and dismal shack stands on the northern side of Southroad Keep. Decorated with bird's wings and the feet of various land-bound prey, the shrine to Malar can be a noisome and fly-ridden place. Even so, those who leave the city to hunt in the mountains frequently stop inside to honor Malar and return here with a portion of their kill if the hunt proves successful.

19 - Shrine to Mask

The shrine to Mask stands openly in the street, not hidden away as one might expect. Mulmasterites venerate Mask as the King of Guile, who gets ahead by his wits and skill rather than just accepting his lot. The shrine takes the form of a changing chamber built to look like a cloaked and masked two-faced figure of 12 feet tall. One face is a man, the other a woman. Worshippers enter on one side by pulling the corresponding “arm” of the figure of one side, passing through, and exiting the other side. Custom dictates that worshippers must be masked and costumed when entering and must exchange mask and costume for another when exiting. Thus, in theory, no one knows who is worshiping at the shrine. There are always over a dozen costumes inside the shrine and traditional favorites rotate in and out as individuals take it upon themselves to repair or replace them.   The shrine to Mask is an oddity standing as it does in the open street. Most places holy to the god of stealth and skullduggery tend to be hidden away. In Mulmaster, however, Mask is worshiped by all manner of individual hoping for a way to get ahead. The shrine takes the form of a changing chamber built to look like a cloaked and masked two-faced figure of about 12 feet tall, man on one side and woman on the other. One always enters the shrine by opening one “arm” of the figure, either the male or female side, and then exiting the other. Custom dictates that you must be masked and costumed when entering and then exchange you mask and costume for another when exiting. Thus, in theory, no one can know who is worshiping at the shrine to Mask. There are always over a dozen costumes inside, and traditional favorites rotate in and out as individuals take it upon themselves to make repairs on them.

20 - Shrine to Talos

The shrine to Talos is on the rocky, storm-battered shore outside the walls. Those who would offer the Stormlord praise gift him with a piece of driftwood, adding to a precarious towering pile that is set aflame at the end of every month. Climbing the precarious tower before the flames or dancing closely around the teetering mass as flaming logs fall are common ways to show one’s faith.   The rocky beach outside the walls is frequently battered by storms, and a shrine to Talos is therefore erected on the beach. Those who use the beach make a habit of adding a piece of driftwood to a pile that by month's end (if it survives the weather) is a precarious tower that adherents must climb to build upon. Climbing the high towers is considered an act of great faith to Talos sure to protect the climber from misfortune. On the last night of the month, whatever tower stands is set ablaze. Sometimes it amounts to little more than a bonfire, but at other times a tower 30 to 40 feet tall blazes on the beach with those seeking Talos's favor dancing wildly round it, waiting until the last moment to break the circle should the fiery tower fall their way.

21 - Shrine to Umberlee

The shrine to Umberlee is on a bridge whose balustrade bears the sculpted furious face of a woman through whose gaping mouth the River Lis drains into the waters below. The shrine is called the Last Drop as it is customary for Mulmasterites attempting suicide to sacrifice themselves to the Bitch Queen by plunging over the side. This shrine is tended by Rydah the Storm Smoother and is popular with common sailors and the naval members of the Soldiery. Its congregation is the largest of any of the shrines, and may soon achieve the status of a temple.   The Shrine to Umberlee is on the west side of what is locally known as the Last Drop because of the custom of people to commit suicide by tying weights to themselves and jumping off into the deep waters below. The shrine to Umberlee is a sculpture of a furious female face carved into the balustrade with a gaping mouth that opens to the water below. Folk wishing to appease or thank Umberlee drop offerings to her through the mouth. People believe the spirits of those who commit suicide by plunging from the bridge guard the offerings given to Umberlee and thus they are left unmolested.

22 - Black Blade and Bloody Boar Tavern

  The Black Blade and Boar--recognizable by its sign-- a wooden sculpture of a boar impaled with a rusty iron sword. The inn has a raucous tavern Black Blade and Bloody Boar (formerly Oxpit Tavern) is recognizable by its sign: a wooden sculpture of a boar impaled on a rusty iron sword The inn has a massive raucous tavern and much lower prices, compensating for quality with quantity. The place has grown so large and popular in recent years that its owner - representing a Blade’s interest - has pressured neighbors to sell their property to expand the inn. It takes twelve bartenders and a small army of servers to manage the daily flow of customers. A visitor can easily be lost in the amalgam of architecture and many hundreds of tables full of drunk loud patrons. The noise from the tavern echoes across all nearby streets.

23 - Windsnug Hearth

  This inn was built in a part of town where it's mostly sheltered from mountain winds. Food and drink is simple fair served en-suite. As a location that typically serves travelers and visiting merchants, its guests are frequently the target of con artists or muggers who watch those who exit for likely marks. Windsnug Hearth is an inn built in a part of town mostly sheltered from mountain winds. Food and drink is simple fare served en-suite. As a location that typically serves travelers and visiting merchants, its guests are frequently the target of con artists or muggers who watch for easy marks.

24 - Leaning Boot Tavern

  The Leaning Boot is a tavern in the cellar of a dockside tallhouse. For decades it has been marked only by a lone, old boot nailed to a post at the top of the steps at street level. The interior is dimly lit and tends to be quiet, making the subterranean bar a favorite of the few dwarves in Mulmaster, older locals, and a handful of dedicated drinkers. The cellars are damp, making corked bottles swell and burst open over time. As a result, only ale, beer, and other vat fermented beverages are served. The Leaning Boot is a tavern in the cellar of a dockside tallhouse. For decades it has been marked only by an single old boot, nailed to a post at the top of the steps at street level. The interior is dimly lit and tends to be quiet, making the subterranean bar a favorite of the few dwarves in Mulmaster, older locals, and a handful of dedicated alcoholics. The Leaning Boot is the only place in Mulmaster proper that serves half-ores. The cellars are damp, making corked bottles swell and burst open over time. As a result, only ale, beer, and other vat fermented beverages are served. Loud and merry drinking songs are forbidden by the owners, as if any stroke of happiness would disturb the sorrow of this place. Only Dwarven hum-songs are tolerated

25 - Storm Gate

The Storm Gate is so named because it opens to the rocky beach on the Moonsea side of Mulmaster. As with Southroad Keep, the guards at Storm Gate carefully track those who enter the city for a proper writ, but anyone who needs to be imprisoned is transported along the walls to Southroad Keep. Storm Gate is staffed by 20 soldiers and at least one Cloak at any hour, lest invaders beach ships to attack.   The Storm Gate is so named because it opens to the rocky beach on the Moonsea side of Mulmaster. As with Southroad Keep, the guards at Storm Gate carefully track and tax those who enter the city, but anyone who needs to be imprisoned is transported along the walls to Southroad Keep. Storm Gate is staffed by 20 soldiers and at least one Cloak at any hour lest invaders beach ships to attack.

26 - Zhentarim Ghetto

  When Zhentil Keep was destroyed, many Zhents fled to Mulmaster, seeking refuge. Mulmaster, however, had little interest in maintaining their alliance. Despite this, the Council of Blades eventually permitted the refugees to take up residence in the city, though to this day, they are still treated as outsiders. For the most part, they reside in the southern-most part of the city in sprawling ghettos that hug Mulmaster's outer walls. They are heavily taxed, denied the rights of citizenship, and persecuted by the city's government and its populace. The Zhent Ghettos are a dangerous place and the Cult of Elemental Evil exploits the resentful Zhentarim to their own ends.   The Zhentarim ghettoes in the southeastern portion of the city experienced some of the most extreme damage during the siege. Nearly every building was destroyed or suffered major fire damage, and in a few places some portals to the elemental plane of fire still rage. While thankfully small in size, their continued presence is still quite dangerous. However, the Zhentarim and the Red Wizards of Thay appear to have resolved some of their former issues, and the Thayans have extended some of their rebuilding efforts into the run-down section of town the Zhentarim call home. The Cloaks and Hawks have routinely turned a blind eye towards this part of town; historically it was because of the deeply-rooted loyalty that the residents held towards to the Zhentarim, but more recently it is due to the influence of those foreign wizards. So long as the crime stays down, bodies don’t turn up elsewhere in the city, and the fires are controlled, the city seems to be willing to politely look away. Many resources are unfortunately denied to the residents of Mulmaster thanks to the destruction of the trade routes including the harbor and roads. The Zhent quartermasters have been quick to identify these opportunities, though, and several of the stores around Mulmaster are now part of a larger Zhent Market organization. Outwardly, these associated venues have pledged a portion of their proceeds to go directly into the reconstruction efforts, the truth is that each of these storefronts is actually an outlet for illicit goods, illegal tasks like murder-for-hire and poisons, and can procure nearly anything that an enterprising agent of the Black Network might need—for a price.  

27 - Shrine to Kyuss

 

Gate of Good Fortune

This large violet-painted temple is divided into two massive chambers: the worship chamber and the casino. The worship chamber is always bathed in a soothing purple light, and is a place for quiet but fervent prayer. The casino is where the “holy rites of Tymora” are carried out in the form of a multitude of games of chance. All house proceeds go to the upkeep of the temple, the clergy's living expenses, and the care of the needy, deserving, or the just plain lucky. The fortunes found in the casino are safe in a vault under the watchful eye of a clay golem. Wylan Burral    Saj Estate Culkin Estate Stoe Manor Caramitru Manor Usilie Rostik's Smoke Shoppe Chapter House of the Yellow Rose Grey Oyster Restaurant House of Suffering Rusty Chock Tavern Ironheart Gallery Wicked Tart

West Market

There are many shops and markets in Mulmaster, each catering to its neighborhood and the people by a writ of a local Blade. Strangers who visit such places may be met with very high prices and questionable quality, as locals pay at unwritten prices for stock not on display. The West Market, running along the whole castle wall from Southroad Keep to the docks, is the only typical market that anyone can visit on three days a week. It is considered neutral ground among Blades, as they are all grudgingly invested in its success. For most of the year, the Market is robust and vibrant. Plenty of visitors take advantage of some of the lowest prices for goods and services across roughly half of Sword Coast. Yet, when the first signs of Winter cold reach the Moonsea, import prices (especially clothing and food) rapidly increase from fear of the freezing Moonsea trade routes. In the final weeks of Leaffall, West Market develops a fever of commerce, blossoming into one of the few official holidays in Mulmaster: “Golden Month”. Anyone who does not bring in significant profits during Golden Month is considered unfit for their position and will be punished by their Blade. During the harsh Mulmaster winter, trade is limited to only the most essential needs of the most desperate people, and at outrageous prices.   Non-human races do relatively well on the West Market. Most of them are wise enough to only get a writ for a day, make their profit and leave the city gates before dark. A few dwarves have owned independent businesses, and a certain half-elf is known to copy the nobility fashion trends for the common people. Even half-ores, males with cut-off ears or females with malnourished faces, are grudgingly welcomed They lean by the walls or scour among the stalls, carrying, cleaning and disposing of spoiled goods. Every human in Mulmaster exploits half-ore labor for carrying their goods to their home. The Blade of Racial Affairs have tried to turn that into a legal business and raise prices, unsuccessfully.

Guilds and Factions

POLITICS

    The political structure of Mulmaster is as much a feature of the City of Danger as the harbor, the Tower of the Wyvern, or the Zhent ghetto. This is indeed a multi-layered governmental machine, with nuance and rhythm, but rotten at its core.   The acknowledged leader of the city is the High Blade Selfaril Uoumdolphin. His word is final on all matters within the city, from tariff disputes at Southroad Keep to accusations of treason and murder. He is served, in turn, by the Blades, a group of sixteen lords entirely loyal to him and his decrees. From here, the Cloaks enforce the edict of arcane intolerance as they have for many years, and the Hawks serve as the secret enforcers of the laws of Mulmaster. Zors and Zoras—such as Zora Culkin— comprise the local nobility, and whether born into it or purchased, these men and women operate with broad authority, often commanding their own small militias. Most visitors to the city do their best to keep their head down, set out to complete their business in short order, and make haste to exit the area as soon as possible. Punishments for breaking the laws of Mulmaster are often quite severe. For example, the Cloaks are quick to threaten an unregistered mage with a death sentence for casting even the simplest of spells.  

The Nobles

There are no “idle rich” in Mulmaster. While Blades and their advisors are technically selected among the Mulmaster nobility, they are held to much stricter standards of loyalty and performance, and are constantly tested The responsibilities and fear of failure quickly erode any warm family ties and often pit Blades against the interests of their original family. The noble families despise the regime of Selfaril, since any attempt to manipulate the city’s increasing wealth faces mandatory resistance from those raised to manage it. Perhaps most insulting for the aristocracy of Mulmaster is that they are held to the same standards of citizenship as common folk. Nobility have to go through the same process of acquiring and retaining a writ, although it is a mere formality. Most keep their lavish lifestyle without a Blade interrupting their routine, but remaining among the ranks of aristocracy requires good investments and timely repayment of debts. Should they borrow more than they can repay, should their investments perish in an unfortunate fire, should they take on liabilities they cannot cover, all reasons are irrelevant to Selfaril’s regime. The noblest Zor or Zora will find themselves no different from a street beggar begging for coppers to survive, because the Contract Census will guarantee it. Young nobles are prepared for this unforgiving climate from the earliest age. The first things a noble learns after reading and writing, are algebra and accounting. Economics, negotiation, and fiscal responsibility are taught via harsh and brutal lessons by expensive and hard-sought tutors. A Blade may prepare his offspring with close apprenticeship of the ins and outs of his particular domain, but a Blade’s life is often too short and tumultuous to guarantee that children will follow his footsteps, or even be spared from his father’s mistakes. Young Zor and Zora are granted a trust fund, managed by a loyal family advisors. The money in that fund, carefully managed, is all that maintains the charade of nobility. Not every child of an aristocrat is fortunate enough to reach adulthood with preserved or increased wealth. The turnover among Blades and the brutal conflicts of wealth have reduced the noble class to a shadow of its former glory. In a mere decade, fewer than twenty of the original forty-nine families remain in Mulmaster, and only a handful of them are influential enough to be taken seriously.   The least powerful arm of the ruling body in Mulmaster is the nobles. There is a set number of noble Lords (forty-nine) in Mulmaster. These nobles win their appointments through the vote of existing nobles whenever one of their numbers dies. Anyone can petition to become a noble, but success or failure is typically determined by the candidate's lineage and current wealth. While this system seems orderly on the surface, a great deal of politicking is done through the assassin's blade.   The nobles of Mulmaster are all but powerless except in name. Having the designation of nobility affords a family certain privileges and rights, but the opportunity to join the Blades is rare.   Male nobles carry the honorific Zor, female nobles are called Zora. The lord of a noble house in Mulmaster can be either male or female; in either case, they are referred to as Lord.  

Typical Noble

    The nobles of Mulmaster are a pampered and entitled lot, and they play the part well. All dress in expensive clothing of the local fashion, and treat those beneath them (which is more or less everyone) with the utmost contempt.  

The Brotherhood of the Cloak

    Cloaks     From the Tower of Arcane Might, the The Cloaks are sworn to protect the rule of the High Blade from all arcane threats. Formed as part of the Edict of Arcane Banishment, all practitioners of magic in the City who are not emissaries of a foreign power (such as the embassy of Thay) are watched closely. Those that use their magic are punished severely, unless they join the Cloaks. Cloaks are frequently detailed to lend magical assistance to the Watch and the Soldiery. The Harpers have been seeding their operatives into the Cloaks, but how they have avoided the magical tests of loyalty remains unknown. Members of the Cloaks are issued cloak-writs as license to use magic for self-defense and against the enemies of the Mulmaster.   Wizards to the core, they flagrantly advertise their trade with the most cliché fashion: robes, staffs, and other openly carried arcane instruments in local style (fur-trim, etc.) They are fiercely loyal to the Blades and the city in general, and have been afforded a great deal of trust. Despite this, they are professional and fair in their dealings. As many nobles and Blades discover, they typically do not accept bribes and react very poorly when offered such. Location: Cloak's Tower   Magic can be a powerful threat to leadership. This threat is somewhat lessened if the practitioners of magic are watched, controlled, and indoctrinated into the service of the city. Whether or not this philosophy is correct is irrelevant, because it is the reason for the existence of the Cloaks. Any mage in residence in the city for longer than six months is required to join the Cloaks upon penalty of exile.   Any mage who chooses not to join and is then caught casting a spell is dealt with harshly; penalties include torture, maiming, and often death.   The Cloaks bear the responsibility of supporting the High Blade. Various tests of loyalty, both magical and mundane, are administered regularly, and those who fail face exile or death. The Cloaks thus act as a de-facto wing of Mulmaster's military and city watch. The cloaks are primarily wizards, but count a few sorcerers, bards, and even a warlock or two amongst their ranks.   Rastol Shan  

Typical Cloak

    Wizards to the core, they demonstrate their trade in cliché manners; robes, staffs, and other openly carried instruments of an arcane nature; albeit in the style and fashion of the city (i.e., fur-trim, etc.). They are fiercely loyal to the Blades and the city in general, and have been afforded a great deal of trust instilled in them. Despite this, they are professional and fair in their dealings. They typically do not accept bribery and react poorly when offered such.  

The Hawks

    Hawks   The Hawks are the High Blade’s secret police -- the terrifying bogeymen who watch everyone. All members of the Hawks are issued permanent investigative or authoritative writs. They carry out night raids against those who harbor seditious thoughts, commit acts of sabotage, or otherwise threaten the stability of the regime. The Hawks are the best of Mulmaster’s forces and execute the High Blade’s plots without ever being seen. Each Blade’s own spy network is modelled to closely resemble the strict order of the the Hawks, but none can match their resources and sheer competence. The Lords’ Alliance seeks a pact with the Hawks. The ranks of the Hawks are comprised of people from every walk of life, though most are rogues due to their training in stealth, deception and thievery. They typically keep their affiliation private unless otherwise called for, as outing themselves limits their ability to perform their duties. They are intelligent, loyal, and have silver tongues. Their leader, Rending Talon Groshin Lor, is a Banite through and through. After refusing the privilege too many times, he finally gave in to the pressure and became a Blade in 1505 DR. Lor is simultaneously a cunning warrior, charming deceiver, and master of subterfuge. His once handsome features are marred by a network of scars, which do not impede his ability to do field work, thanks to Disguise Self; a gift from a fiendish warlock patron. He is wholeheartedly devoted to High Blade and would die before betraying him.   The Hawks are the secret police; the terrifying bogeyman that watches all that happens and carries out nighttime raids against those who harbor seditious thoughts, commit acts of sabotage, or otherwise threaten the stability of the regime. The Hawks are the best of the Mulman forces and execute the Blades’ secret plots without ever being seen. The Lords’ Alliance seeks a pact with the Hawks.   Leader: Rending Talon Groshin Lor (GROW-shin LORE). Groshin Lor   Rending Talon Marr is a Banite through and through. Having been appointed to the post as one of High Blade Drakehorn's first acts, Marr is a cunning warrior and master of subterfuge. He is charming and has a natural gift for deception. His once handsome features are marred by a network of scars. These scars do not impede his ability to do field work, however, thanks to his ability to use disguise self; a gift from his fiendish warlock patron. He is whole-heartedly devoted to High Blade Drakehorn and would die before betraying her.     The second most important local organization is known as the Hawks. The Hawks are a special sect of the Mulmaster army, a paramilitary group of soldiers skilled in subterfuge and sabotage. The Hawks can be found in Mulmaster, but many can be located throughout the Moonsea and Dragonreach, gathering information and executing plots on behalf of Mulmaster's High Blade in secret.  

Typical Hawk

    The ranks of the Hawks are comprised of people from every walk of life, though most are rogues due to their training in stealth, deception and general thievery. They typically keep their affiliation private unless otherwise called for, as outing themselves limits their ability to perform their duties. They are intelligent, loyal, and have silver tongues.  

The Soldiery

The Soldiery is Mulmaster’s army and navy, a proud force that is richly rewarded Military service is highly valued among the middle and upper classes and seen as a way out of poverty for the lower classes. Their leader is Blade Zeydon Wingstarl, an exceptionally charismatic mercenary veteran exhibiting a zealous commitment to the wellbeing of the common folk and maintaining the order of SelfariL Members of the Soldiery take an oath of loyalty and service that is the foundation of their honorable brotherhood, and corruption is extremely rare. The fairness of the Soldiery is why its members are frequently called on to judge duels between those of noble birth. The Order of the Gauntlet seeks to work closely with the Soldiery. Potential members must past tests of military and seamanship as well as subtle tests of loyalty. Those who do very well and prove highly loyal are eventually subjected to other, secret tests. Exceptional members are privately invited to join the Hawks. The members of the Soldiery are widely considered to be the best and brightest of the city. Subject to constant evaluations of ability and loyalty, they are warriors and seamen without equal in Mulmaster. They are frequently seen throughout the city and are (relatively) friendly, polite and competent. In the face of danger to the city, however, these features melt away and they exhibit a brutal, unparalleled savagery. They are fanatically loyal to the High Blade and the city. Attempting to bribe a member of the Soldiery will, more often than not, result in the arrest and imprisonment of the offender.     The city's army and navy are a conjoined force that defends the city in time of war. Pay is high and members of the Soldiery enjoy benefits above those of the City Watch, but must past rigorous tests of ability and loyalty. Those that excel in these tests further evaluated for enlistment in the Hawks. Members of the Soldiery are competent, effective and are held in regard by the people of Mulmaster.   Mulmaster's army and navy are a conjoined force referred to as the Soldiers or Soldiery. Pay is high and comes with privileges over both the normal citizens and City Watch, but potential members must past tests of military and seamanship worthiness as well as subtle tests of loyalty. Those who do well in the tests and prove loyal are subjected to other, secret tests. If they succeed in them, they are invited to join the Hawks.  

Typical Member of the Soldiery

    The members of the Soldiery are widely considered to be the best and brightest of the city. Subject to rigorous testing of ability and loyalty, they are warriors and seamen without equal in Mulmaster. They are frequently seen throughout the city and are friendly, polite and competent. In the face of danger to the city, however, these features melt away and they exhibit a brutal, unparalleled savagery. They are loyal to the High Blade and the city. Attempting to bribe a member of the Soldiery will, more often than not, result in the arrest and imprisonment of the offender.   The City Watch is made-up of those citizens unsuited for a career in the Soldiery due to stupidity, laziness, or a volatile nature. Unfortunately, it is also the City Watch that the residents of Mulmaster deal with most frequently. Members of the Watch are corrupt bullies who prefer brutal beatings and bribes to seeing any justice done.   They are more dangerous to the average citizen than most criminals, and they are often overlooked as unimportant when considering city politics. Despite Selfaril’s edicts that delegated the entire City Watch to a single Hold, every Blade funds the watchmen in his or her neighborhood to “gently correct” their loyalty.  

The City Watch

    The City Watch is largely made of those who flunk out of the soldiery for being too stupid, impetuous, lazy, or swift to anger. They have a well-earned reputation in the city for being bullies. In lieu of doing paperwork and true justice, an accused criminal, rowdy drunk, or anyone else who gets in their way often instead receives brutal beating and is tossed into an alley or the harbor.  

Typical Member of the City Watch

    Those who are too stupid, lazy, or ineffective to serve in the Soldiery are remanded to the City Watch. Unfortunately, it is the City Watch that the residents of Mulmaster must most frequently deal with. Widely regarded as bullies, they are more likely to deal with a problem with violence and cruelty than with compassion and reason. Bribery is rampant among their ranks.   Hawks    Cloaks

History

With mountains on three sides and the Moonsea on the fourth, the city of Mulmaster is cold and windswept. With snows frequent, there is little natural greenery except where the rich can afford it. In this bleak landscape rose one of the most powerful cities of the Moonsea. The rich luxuriate in the benefits of their station, while the poor suffer in fear of their betters and the tyranny visited upon the citizenry. The story of Mulmaster began in 934 DR when a fortress was built on the River Lis at the end of the North Road in order to watch over trade flowing to and from the Moonsea and the Vast. Under the guidance of the sorcerer-king Nesker, Mulmaster grew to an aggressive state until 1317 DR, when Nesker was killed and the first High Blade, Amdrauth Telsnaer, took control of the City. Amdrauth issued the Edict of Arcane Banishment, making arcane magic illegal in the City. After Amdrauth, Mulmaster would see a quick flurry of High Blades, each taking power after assassinations and other mysterious circumstances. It was a time of turmoil, where much of the politics and culture of Mulmaster developed to what it is today. The Recent Past In 1348 DR, Selfaril Uomdolphin assumed the position of High Blade. Selfaril was a strong ruler with a firm grip on power and a deadly jealous twin brother. It is not known how, but in 1368 DR, it is rumored that Sefaril was replaced by his brother Rassendyll. Whether it was Rassendyll in the guise of Sefaril, or Sefaril himself, a pact was forged with Fzoul Chembryl to forming an alliance with the Zhentarim in order to strengthen Mulmaster and oppose the Red Wizards of Thay. This would lead to the rise of the church of Bane in Mulmaster and further crack downs upon those who practice arcane magic. The alliance crumbled in 1383 DR when Zhentil Keep and the Keep of the Raven were destroyed by the Shadovar. Fleeing the powers of Netheril, a large number of refugees arrived on Mulmaster’s docks. Unwilling to aid their allies when the alliance no longer had anything to offer them, the Blades of Mulmaster relegated the refugees to a piece of swampy land outside the southern wall, where the refugees where heavily taxed for the right to the relative safety afforded by proximity to the nearby City. When Zhentil Keep was eventually rebuilt post-Spellpague, many of the refugees tried to return to their ancestral home where they quickly discovered that those who had stayed viewed the migrants as Mulmasterites and ordered them to return to their adopted city of Mulmaster. During this time, the government of Mulmaster took its current shape. Forty-nine noble families vote on who is nobility and who is not, keeping the number of families to exactly forty-nine. Each family is lead by a Lord (whether male or female), and all other members of the family are referred to as Zor (male) or Zora (female). The Lords elect sixteen of their number to become Blades, and in turn the Blades elect the High Blade who rules the City. The latest High Blade is Jasseen Drakehorn, who struggles to maintain her authority against threats from abroad and within. Jasseen has reaffirmed Bane as the patron of Mulmaster and has built a wall around the Zhent Ghettos, effectively making them a part of the city, if not officially claimed. The High Blade’s latest problem is the influx of refugees from Phlan. At the advice of the Council of Blades, she has allowed the Phlan refugees access to the Ghettos rather than turn them away. The nobility sees the refugees as a desperate source of cheap labor that are not yet the rabble-rousers the Zhentil Keep refugees has become. For the moment, the Phlan refugees have found a home, but for how long remains to be seen. Mulmaster Today

Geography

Locations Outside Mulmaster

Earthspur Mountains

  The Earthspur Mountains, sometimes called the Giantspike or the Dragonspike, is a great mountain range in north Faerun. It runs from the Moonsea to the Sea of Fallen Stars in the south. The Earthspurs are high and imposing: the range's tallest peaks are nearly 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) high. There are few trails through the mountains, making them very dangerous to cross.   Mining is lucrative here but conditions are harsh and dangerous. Miners endure a lot of hardship to pursue their wealth, and the mining communities suffer high death rates. The Earthspurs is still inhabited by tribes or ores, goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears - even drow of the domain of Deep Wastes. The mountains is home to shield dwarves such as the Ludwakazar clan. However much of the lower slope have been purged by stationed garrisons of the Soldiery. Not only they protect the dozens of deep mines that feed Mulmaster's insatiable appetite for ore, but they also strongarm the few independent mining communities of Dunfee in Impiltur and the Arcatan towns of Sudrav and Tomrav away from the best developed lodes. The mountains are rich in iron and silver, in apparently limitless lodes, with some bloodstone veins. There are also small but highly pure deposits of gold and many tunnels burrowed into the heart of the mountains in search of these metals.   At the center of the range, at its highest point, resides the Glacier of the White Worm, from which icy currents continuously blow around the peaks or descend to make Mulmaster rains even more fouL This magical glacier is a home of countless remorhaz that net into the ice to protect their hundreds of eggs from scorching with their inner fire. Some tell stories of human and dwarven prospectors, lone and "gold-crazed", who attack anyone who come too close to their claims and finds, and who live like animals high in the mountains. Others speak of so-called "glitter caves", caverns with great stacks of lost dwarven gold and guarded by gold- crazed prospectors who'd slain the lair's beast and seized and guarded their hoards themselves. A few such stories turned out to be true. Lashan Aumersair of Scardale supposedly once led his followers to locate one of these gold caves and took its wealth to fuel his conquests.     Also called the Giantspike or Dragonspike Mountains, this range of tremendously tall mountains spans the gap between the Moonsea and the Sea of Fallen Stars. The mountains are rich in precious metals and many old, dry mines can be found throughout. The following locations are located in the Earthspur Mountain range: • Glacier of the White Worm. This immense glacier covers an approximate are of 1200 square miles. It is so named for the white remorhazes that reside within. Rumors tell of entire herds of the terrifying beasts ruled by a remorhaze of tremendous size. • Monastery of the Yellow Rose. East of the Glacier of the White Worm, this monastery is the home to an order of disciples of Saint Sollars the Twice Martyred; a follower of Illamater. Elmwood This small farming community lay on the southern shore of the Moonsea and west of Mulmaster. It is loosely governed by Graffin Jorgadaul, the descendent of Thoyana Jorgadaul. Whether the Cult of Elemental Evil's influence has made it this far west is unknown. It is governed by Graffin Jorgadaul, a retired dwarven adventurer with one arm.

Ironfang Keep

  This mysterious keep was built long before recorded history and housed a secretive order of mages so powerful that even some of the most powerful wizards in history were hesitant to disturb them. A vast, subterranean complex exists beneath the keep; its entrance shielded from view by the waterfall that falls from the peak where the keep rests.   The stronghold resides in the northernmost parts of the Earthspur Mountain at the cascades where the White River fell into the Moonsea. The Keep is so old, that even the oldest elves remembered their grandparents talking about it. There were legends among dragons which indicate that Ironfang Keep already existed around -25000 DR. It earned its name due to massive iron deposits near the Keep. But no one dared to mine them, because most feared the presence of the Keep and its inhabitants.   Ironfang Keep was originally one of the twelve fortresses built by the fire giants of Helligheim on its southern border. During the Thousand Year War between Ostoria and the draconic forces of Garyx, Ironfang Keep was the only one of these fortresses to survive being destroyed by the dragons before the First Rage of Dragons ended the war. The Keep is sealed by giant runecasters when the inhabitants of Helligheim decided to retreat to the north a century or two after the end of the war. It stood empty until -981 DR when a greathorn minotaur named Haask claimed it as the capitol of his burgeoning empire called Grong-Haap. Grong-Haap fell after Haask disappeared in -350 DR and after it dissolved, Ironfang Keep was forgotten.   Legend claims that an arcanist from fallen Netheril was the next creature to enter the Keep but he was supposedly later found wandering Thar, utterly insane. Ores from Vastar told tales of entire ore tribes in the area being swallowed by the keep, never to return. Myriad elves, giants and even some dragons were drawn inside and disappeared in the keep. Beastly hybrid creatures were encountered in its vicinity, which led credence to rumors of someone experimenting with living things within the Keep. Ibixians, first noted near the keep in 703 DR, were thought to be one of the results of these experiments.   Ironfang Keep remains a place of mystery to the people of the Moonsea. In 1288 DR, the barons of Mulmaster hastily organized an expedition to investigate and loot the keep. As in response, the local gnoll population rose up against Mulmaster in a fifty year campaign of raids against the city which only stopped upon the last baron’s death. Mongo, Blood of Ghelin claimed to have ventured inside and met its inhabitants when he appeared in Suzail in 1367 DR, badly beaten. Delirious, he was put to bed, but the next morning his remains were found splattered all over his room with no clear signs of violence.   In 1483 DR, Jaseen Drakehorn has forbidden all attempts of expeditions to Ironfang Keep. The order still remains in effect ever since Selfaril took over Mulmaster.  

MONASTERY OF THE YELLOW ROSE

  The Monastery of the Yellow Rose, also known as the Citadel of the White Worm, is a monastery dedicated to St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred and Ilmater, the Broken God. It is built high in the Earthspur Mountains in Damara, overlooking the Glacier of the White Worm. The Monastery is a difficult place to reach, as the trails leading there are hard to follow. The Citadel itself is an immense and sprawling fortress. From the outside, it projects many turrets, balconies, and windows. The top of the structure is a crenulated tower. Lengthy maze of catacombs run under the monastery and through the mountain. Inside, every room displays the artwork and architecture of the monks of the Yellow Rose, reflecting their discipline. The monastery resembles an impressive museum devoted to the persistence, indomitability, and the rise of human-kind in Faerun. Being built into the side of the mountain, only about half the rooms have windows looking onto the daylight. The rest are underground, within the mountain itself. By 1497 DR, there is a major portal in the monastery that allows passage to the far-distant Underdark town of Earth's End The Monastery accomodates up ot 750 monks. At the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, the monks dedicate their lives to venerating the Syffering God, Ilmater. This seems to be primarily through the hard work necessary to survive in the harsh environment around the monastery, and here they thrived The monks toil for at least sixteen hours a day, without fail. Initiates and low-ranking monks are most responsible for the basic necessities of life in the mountains. They work in small gardens, they cut and haul blocks of ice that would be melted for water, and they forage in the desolate mountains for supplies. The Monastery seldom have visitors, and few come purely for sightseeing, owning to its remoteness and inaccessibility. But those who did come found the journey experience rewarding. For the same reason, orphans were rarely left at the gates as at other monasteries. Instead, every few years, the monks went out into the neighboring lands of Damara and Vaasa and chose a young orphan to join them. The senior monks dedicate their time to genealogical studies. At the Monastery, they maintain vast archives about the Bloodstone Lands, the most complete anywhere in the Realms. Once a year, mid-ranking monks lead expeditions out of the mountains and into the cities of the Moonsea or the Bloodstone Lands: Damara, Vaasa, Implitur, and NarfelL There they gather and record local news, familiarize with travelleres passing through and with newcomers settling in the area, and listed births and deaths. Another task the monks have is to maintain the Watcher’s Mounds that lay throughout the Earthspur Mountains south of the Monastery. Well over a hundred of these campsites are situated along the trails running down from the monastery. Not only mounds, there are defensible campsites with shelter where a traveler, a ranger, or a Watcher might spend a night in safety. Each site also contains a hidden cache of preserved food, water, and tools. The monks and local rangers restock these caches, and take note of when they are wantonly looted and who might be responsible, as well as who was considerate enough to leave spare supplies behind.

GIACIER OF THE WHITE WORM

  The glacier used to be great sea of ice that weaves between the tallest mountains of the Earthspur. On the north-west side, it flows over the high cliff and spills into the Moonsea. On the east, it reaches into Lake Icemelt, which lay in the mountains between Damara and Impiltur. The ice covered an area of approximately 1200 square miles (-1040 square kilometers). As old histories and maps recorded, it was once a part of the Great Glacier, the much larger icesheet that lay some 400 miles (640 kilometers) to the north. Curiously, the Glacier of the White Worm survives at much lower latitude than its altitude allowed, suggesting that magic or some other force might be involved Sages of the 14th century DR theorized that potent cold-based magic or some other force might be the cause of this. Furthermore, they warned of a sinister power at work beneath the ice, and that the very safety of Faerun could depend on preserving the integrity of the glacier and discovering the motive of this agency. The glacier is inhabited by a few polar beasts and enormous -and dangerous- snow spiders, thanks to its former connection to the Great Glacier. Silver dragons laired in the mountains surrounded the glaicer, while red dragons were also sighted in the area. Most notably, it was home to a variety of pale, albino remorhaz, which are unique to this region. These ’’white worms” gave the glacier its name. Herds numbering from dozens to hundreds could be seen roaming the ice. Remorhaz are gigantic centipedes that reach 25 feet long and 10,000 pounds in weight, and under the pale chitine burns fiery insides fueled by acidic reactions and wild magic. They prey on anything from wandering beasts to dragons, burying deep into the ice and sensing their prey with tremor sense. They need constant contact with ice to cool off, and when they procreate they lay nest of hundreds of eggs drilled deep into the ice so the offspring is protected from burning the whole nest as they form. The remorhazes are said to be led by giant-sized "queen” worm that laired in the very center of the ice. Adventurers also reported seeing (usually in retreat) unusual remorhazes with heads frilled with long, grasping tentacles. During extremely harsh winters remorhazes feel no longer contrained in the Glacier and spread to hunt for food across the Mulmaster region. During these perilous times, all of Soldiery are stationed outside the city to protect smaller settlements nearby, and mining operations cease. Some mountain barbarian tribes live around the area of the glacier, particularly the Wormhunter tribe. They have dedicated much of their life hunting hermorhaze and relish in shaming the Soldiery by beating them to the kill with savage accuracy.  

River Lis

  A shallow, swampy river connecting the Moonsea to the Sea of Fallen Stars. The Lis delta was once home to a large city of the same name. It and a number of sites around it are now in ruin. • The Flooded Forest. A large swamp in the northern portion of the Vast. It is inhabited by lizardfolk and until recently, a black dragon. It is rumored that an adventuring group called the Turning Key hid its treasure in the Flooded Forest. • Fort Dalton. Fort Dalton was long ago destroyed by a migration of dragons, but its ruins remain. Rumors tell of cults practicing their dark rites within its depths. • The Mage's Tower. No one knows for sure who built the tower or even who lives there to this day. Rumored residents have included Maskyr One- Eye, mind flayers, dwarves, Lashan Aumersair, the Mage Who Never Dies, and even a gold dragon. What is known for sure, however, is that the tower boasts powerful guardians including golems, gargoyles, and magical traps. • Point Iron. This profitable iron mine is controlled by Mulmaster after the city purged it of the duergar who had previously been residing within. • The Lis Ruins. Lis was a city located west of Mulmaster and was destroyed by a Flying Plague; a horde of perytons, harpies, and manticores.  

THE FLOODED FOREST (THE MIRE)

  The Flooded Forest is a swam lying at the outer reach of Cormanthor, near the Dragon Reach and the Earthspur Mountains. The Flooded Forest used to be a section of the great forest of Cormanthor that lay beyond the River Lis. However, it lay in a low bowl that filled with water, becoming a swamp surrounded by a ring of boggy woodlands. The swamp was stinking and foul and the marshes around the southern edges tend to be wreathed in mists. Maple and oak trees make up much of the forest. Although the trees have lasted centuries, most died when it turned to swampland; some were still standing a century later, but were so fragile they could fall at a touch. Fallen trees are common sight, and falling trees are common hazard to explorers. Mushrooms and hanging mosses were span everywhere, Duskwoods line the southern edge of the Flooded Forest. Few clans of Lizardfolk and occasional black dragons make their homes in the Flooded Forest. One particular black dragon was the one known as Velvet, a female adult dragon that was since slain by adventurers back in 1497 DR. There are number of carnivorous plant monsters, including assassin vines, dark trees, shambling mounds, and tendriculoses. There are also fungus creatures, such as shriekers and violet fungi. Other monsters include giant owlbears and stirges, and stranger things that are unknown and unnamed to the local hunters who encountered them. Some of these creatures were not actually native to the area. This led to conclusion that they were being imported and released by someone, group, or power to drive people away. One unwilling settlement in the Flooded Forest is the town of Ylraphon on its southern edge and being steadily consumed by the swamp on its eastern and north-eastern sides. The outer runs of the former city is left overgrown and submerged They include several large, aboveground tombs and crypts, which provide shelter and hiding places for wanderers, bandits and pirates. Recurring local stories tell also of ruined temples to Bane, Gruumsh, and Moander within these parts of the Flooded Forest, north of Ylraphon. They tend to be built on raised and drier areas of the swamp. The ruins and tombs circling Ylraphon, in the fringes of the swamp, are a common target of adventurers seeking treasure or magic, but they'd been entirely robbed by ores by 1370 DR, leaving little but a few undead However, with adventurers finding treasure in the House of Moander shortly after that time, more wealth is thought to lie hidden in the temples. The rumors surrounding Zhegos Vatis, the notorious founder of the zhegot scourage, say that he have spent almost two years in isolation among the ruins north of city of Ylraphon and have only been noticed by few trading supplies in the town before returning to his work that would later to known as the Book of Zhegos and curse the lives of thousands of children to fate worse than death. People who believe that Zhegos Vatis has been or may still be a member of the Wolfbrothers claim that whatever madness he has contracted in the Mires of Cormanthor, is the same that is to blame for the eerie similarity between the assassins. Folk in Ylraphon tell of ghostly presences and screaming in the ruined temples of Bane, Gruumsh and Moander, and a few feared that they were being reused by living cultists. With the resurrection of Bane in 1372 DR, it was thought quite likely that the temple would be secretly renovated and reopened, perhapsto direct the churck’s influence into the Vast - rumors directly denied by Fzoul Chembryl, head of Mulmaster's Church of Bane. Many, however, suspect that smugglers, bandits, or ores simply store their loot in these places, and that they make the screams to scare people off, or that they’d had a falling out. Evil groups and ores regularly stock up on supplies in Ylraphon beofre venturing into the Flooded Forest. Much of the Flooded Forest remains untouched by human foot and its unknown mysteries. On the southern fringe of the Flooded Forest, west of Kurth, stands the mysterious Mage's Tower, said by some to be the base of the even-more mysterious Mage Who never Dies. He is believed to be a loud and obnoxious master of arcane arts who openly challenges people to try to kill him only to humiliate them with his impossible luck and ability to come unscathed from any situation. Some believe that those evil bandit gangs served him after failing to kill him. In his tower he trades with the souls of those daring to step into his domain, and offers immortality at the coast that few can pay. Made and drunk folk tell stories of the deepest parts of the swamp, dreaming of half-sunken cities, weird mirages, vampiric pixies, and circles of giant frogs casting spells, or even more insane things. Many believe that the remaining treasure of the Turning Key adventuring band of Tavilar also lays somewhere in hte Flooded Forest, sunken in a bog, but this was too large and too dangerous area to be searched by any.

The Vast

  This region of Faerûn between the River Lis and the Earthspur Mountains to the west and east, and the Moonsea and the Sea of Fallen Stars to the north and south. It has been the home of orc, elvish, dwarven, and human rulers throughout its history. • Kurth. Known as Pirate's Rest, Kurth is a town located in the northern portion of the Vast. Founded by the pirate Kurth Banditslayer, Kurth was a large town that eventually fell to orc raids. Its current state is much smaller; and more easily able to defend against attacks, and the outer portions of the city have fallen into ruin, including Feljack's Hall; the former home of an adventurer of the same name. Skeletal pirates have been seen in the area of Feljack's Hall, seemingly searching for the long-dead owner's fabled treasure. • Maskyr's Eye. A village located on the North road between Mulmaster and Kurth. Originally founded by the archmage Maskyr, the vale where he settled, was claimed by the dwarves of Roldilar. Thinking that the mage would refuse the offer, the Deep King Stonebeard offered the vale to Maskyr if the mage would pluck out his right eye; which Maskyr did without hesitation. True to his word, the Deep King declared the vale the realm of Maskyr's domain and no dwarf has laid claim to it since.


 
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Mulmaster Heraldry  
Mulmaster.png
 

Population

  1492 DR - 20000; 1491 DR - 29000; 1489 DR - 50000  

Ruler

  High Blade Selfaril Uoumdolphin, in 1489 DR - High Blade Jaseen Drakehorn  

Weather Conditions

  Winters -15°C to 5°C, Summers 10°C to 15°C, strong northern winds, high humidity 60% to 75%, high chance of rain all-year.  

Alignment

  Lawful Evil (government Neutral Evil (society)  

Government

  Aristocratic Oligarchy; Absolute Bureaucracy  

Society

Meritocracy; Contractual Serfdom  

City Assets

44,600,000gp. (~10% treasury, 4,150,000gp).  

Personal Assets

High Blade 2,100,000gp; Blades (100,000 to 650,000gp), Zor/a Nobility (10,000gp to 70,000gp), Craftsmen (200gp to 2,000gp) Others (0 to 150gp). Convertible portion of assets 10-35% for Zor; 5-10% for everyone else.  

Imports

Foodstuffs, cloth, leather, luxury items, slaves  

Exports

Arms, armor, ships, liquor, people, services
Population
20000
Inhabitant Demonym
Mulmasterite
Location under
Moonsea
Owner/Ruler
Selfaril Uoumdolphin
Characters in Location

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